I never cease to be amazed by the extraordinary work of Magen David Adom, Israel’s independent national medical emergency and blood service. MDA’s contribution to the health and welfare of all who live in Israel has been particularly extraordinary over the past twelve months since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
As at the end of last week MDA teams had taken samples for testing for the virus from more than 4,240,000 people and had administered over a million Pfizer/ Biontech vaccines. To date, just over five million Israeli’s have been vaccinated. Amongst those vaccinated, two doses have been administered by MDA teams to all of the residents and employees of elderly care facilities and sheltered accommodation across Israel.
MDA blood services also continue to collect plasma from those who have recovered from the virus for use in the treatment of severely ill patients. To date, those recovered from Covid have donated approximately 20,331 plasma units, 6,430 of which have been given to 3,251 Covid-19 patients.
Last week MDA ran a pilot vaccination scheme for Palestinian workers with permits to work in Israel. 700 were vaccinated and the success of the pilot has resulted in MDA receiving government authorisation to this week commence vaccinating the many thousands of Palestinians who work in Israel.
Meanwhile, over the past twelve months MDA has continued all of the organisations routine and emergency activities and to take new life saving initiatives.
In January MDA launched it’s “National Defibrillator Project”. It’s goal is to place 2,000 defibrillator stations across Israel for use by the general public. The defibrillators are to be contained in specially mounted casing with a communications facility that links into MDA headquarters to facilitate medical guidance being given directly to those attempting to save a critically ill persons life pending the arrival of an MDA emergency team. Each system will have a long distance monitoring unlocking system for each device to ensure longevity and proper use. It will provide a live feed to MDA’s dispatching centre and an online printed summary of a casualties heart monitor detailing resuscitation efforts. The information provided will be of crucial help to the emergency team dispatched to a collapsed person’s location.
MDA Ireland has decided to support this life saving project. Having been recently advised by MDA Israel that there is no immediate need for additional medicycles our committee decided in February to use the funds donated to MDA Ireland for the provision of MDA defibrillator stations. The cost of each station, including installation provision and 4 years maintenance is €4,000. We hope to initially fund four stations. Every station can contain a dedication. Our first dedication will be in the memory of Dr Alex Tomkin who was a great Irish supporter of MDA in the 1980s.
Our fund raising for this exciting project will be marked by our WALK 5k for MDA St Patrick’s Day event. Because of Covid those participating are asked to walk in their chosen location at whatever time or times they chose during that day. If you prefer to cycle instead of walking no one will complain! Please join in, encourage family and friends to be sponsors, to participate and to seek out their own sponsors. All money raised can be donated at our donation portal at mdaireland.org . It is a great cause.
Thank you to all of those who have in the last year been generous with their donations. If you would personally like to fund raise for a defibriltor station to be dedicated in celebration of an event or in the name of a departed loved one please make contact with us at [email protected].
Stay well. Stay safe. Wear your mask and do not delay in getting vaccinated when offered a vaccination appointment.
Chairperson, MDA Ireland